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University of North Carolina Wilmington

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What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

For the most part I am extremely happy with how my undergraduate career went. But if I was given the opportunity to go back and talk to my high school self I would have a few things to advise. I would definitely focus on time management. I would tell myself to really manage my time more wisely. UNCW offers so many things in the way of classes, social events and opportunities. I would say try a lot in the beginning, but don't take on too much. It's great to be social, but also don't overload yourself on classes, clubs, sports, and friends because something will give. I would also tell myself to apply for more scholarships. Financially, the school doesn't offer as many scholarship for out of state students so search for as many as possible! Otherwise, just have fun, enjoy the experience, and make those long lasting relationships that help you make it through the tough times. I wouldn't change a thing about my undergraduate choices, so I would tell myself to trust my instincts and make the right choices. And good luck!

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The great thing about college is that everyone's experience is vastly different. Ask most and they will say it was "the time of their life." Many college students spend their nights drinking and days sleeping, forgetting to attend class the next morning. I was not one of those students. I learned early on that being able to wake up and be at school for my Friday 8 a.m. class was only preparing me for having to wake up at 6 a.m. years later and be at school to teach my own class of students. I learned to be the adult that chose not to attend the party most of the time, in order to prepare myself for the future. And the night I chose not to be that student I realized the valuable lessons I would be missing in the class. College is vital to being a successful human-being. It allows for mistakes, bad decisions, and the opportunity to learn from them and be better the next day. College was valuable because I am now a middle school teacher, which was my dream. College has allowed me to change the lives of children every day.

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The first point of advice I would give potential students would be to try to pinpoint, if possible, what it is you want to go to school for. Once narrowed down, try to find the most reputable school that is known for your desired major. Next, it is a good idea to contact each potential school's student services and ask to get set up with a student to show you around and give you the lowdown on campus life. This will give you a feel for each schools specific culture to see if you would be a good fit and enjoy the next 3-4 years of life on campus. If he or she hasn't decided the best fit yet and finance is an issue it is a good idea to research if the student would be a viable candidate for any possible scholarships that may be school specific. Furthermore, a college or university that is set in the students home state will be considered an "in-state" school and will be substantially less expensive. Conversely, "out of state" schools are more expensive and can be very difficult to be considered for in-state status.

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When one goes off to college in many cases they leave behind there highschool friends and family. At first this seems like a sad part of life, but with a deeper look it can be a life changing step, a step that allows you to forget about the mistakes you have made and a chance to start over, or put to the test everything you believe. When you leave for college, you take with you what you have learned and the values you hold. No doubt they will be challanged. No doubt many times it is much easier to give in and forget what you believe and adopt that of your professors and/or classmates, but how you respond to this pressure decides what kind of student and what kind of human being you will become. Coal is one of the ugliest rocks on earth but when pressure is added and the coal stands firm it is turned into a priceless diamond. Enjoy the experience pick a college where you can have as much fun or more on and off campus as you would on a long vacation. Study and learn, but remember to hit the beach or the woods.

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My advice for anyone trying to find that perfect college would be to start with as many campus tours as you can. You may often find that the college you liked is not as nice as the books and brochures that you get in the mail. Look at the area around the college the city it?s nearest too and ask yourself if you could have a good time for the next four years. Don?t be afraid to ask a few students walking around campus how they like the school, input from a student can be the most helpful thing when deciding. If you are interested in a specific field of study talk to a professor in that field. Professors can give you the best outlook on classes and academics. Don?t be afraid to apply to colleges that you think are out of reach, you may find out that those sports and clubs in high school hold more weight than you think. As for making the best out of a college experience there is only one thing that can be said.. Get Involved!!! Those who are more involved in a school get better grades and have more fun.

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The transition from high school to college is a tough one, as many people know. It can be harder for some people and easier for others, and I feel that my transition could have gone more smoothly. I live in the tallest dorm on campus (six floors) and there are a lot of people here. I am still seeing new faces even in the second semester. I thought there was a bunch of people at my high school, but college has even more people. In high school I had plenty of friends, but most of them were in the marching band which I participated in. It was easy to make friends when you are with a certain group of people five or more days a week. I was happy with my life in high school, but I feel like in college I could have made friends easier if I was used to making new friends. If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to start being more open, talk to people I normally wouldn't talk to, and risk a little. Knowning that, I probably could have had a completely different experience my first year of college.

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In the first semester of college, you learn so much about yourself. Because I procrastinate when it comes to my school work and studies, I have learned that in order to get my class assignments completed in a timely manner I have to go to the library because there are just way to many distractions for me in the dorm. I have also learned that having someone live in the same room with you can be very challenging at times so it's important to talk things through and make sure you don't hold grudges against eachother. One of the most important things I have learned about classes is that you should ALWAYS introduce yourself to ALL of your teachers. Being on a personal level with each of your professors can help if you run into some problems. Not only has UNCW showed me who I am, it has also provided me with my closest friends. Everyone at the dub is so friendly it was extremely easy to adjust to college life. This school means everything to me and I honestly believe that it is the best school around.

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The best advice I have about finding the right college and making the most of the college experience is to focus but relax! This is a big decision, but at the same time, it is a fun one. I looked at a lot of very different schools before I decided on one. I thought I knew where I wanted to go, but ended up changing my mind completely. I didn't get in to my first choice, and a school I hadn't thought much about at all, ended up becoming my dream school. Visiting schools is the best way to figure out if it's right for you, but don't just visit, meet people. Talking to students is a great way to determine what it's really like at a school. Once you're in college, be passionate! Get involved in something, or everything! There are so many opportunities that may never come again. Being involved will help you make friends, make a difference ,and maybe even find a career. Being dedicated to something also helps you to stay focused on the important things. Live it up, these are the best days of our lives!

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In order to select the school that is right for you, every student should make a list of what is important to them. If being close to family, the city, or the beach is important then students should keep these things in mind when searching for a school. Once you have narrowed it down, go visit. A hands-on experience is a great window into what you will find at the school. Talk to students while you are there and ask their opinion. Go sit in on a lecture to see what academic life is like. Attend a social event on campus and walk around the on-campus housing. Every student should also talk to their advisor as well as the financial aid department. Once you have selected a school, get involved! Be sure to talk to your instructors when you first realize you are struggling. Use the resources on campus to help you. You pay for them so make the most of them! Form study groups as well as a close group of friends. But also, don't be afraid to mingle with others. Enjoy yourself and relax- you will make it!

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First of all, relax and trust that everything is going to be great! The roommates that you are going to randomly be put with will actually turn out to be some of your best friends. Also, classes will be difficult and you will definitely have to work harder than in highschool. Try not to feel pressured to go out and party with everyone else when you really rather not. There is no rule to how often you have to go to parties. Be careful to keep in touch with your friends back home. When you start to get incredibly busy you might not think about calling them up, but being over 900 miles away will make it easy to let your friendships slide. Also, I know you're excited about getting involved with tons of stuff around campus, but you can not do it all. So pick two or three things and do your best at those. Lastly, stay true to yourself. College will always bring drama, but you can avoid it just as well as you did in highschool if you just keep in mind why you are here in the first place. Love, Yourself

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